A former Northampton County Councilman is looking to return to elected office.
Bethlehem resident Ron Heckman on Wednesday announced his candidacy for Northampton County Council in the May primary election on the Democratic ticket.
Heckman's announcement was followed by this statement:
"County government is a predominately service-based level of government. It is responsible for providing several services. Council must do that job with professionalism and in an efficient and cost-effective manner. Council must also do their homework and ask tough questions. My extensive experience in both the legislative and executive branches of county government has provided me with the knowledge to ask these questions.
"During my tenure as Director of Human Services for Northampton County, I utilized my 30 years of experience in the private and public sectors to manage the county’s largest department. As Manager of Regional Partnerships for Lehigh County, I worked with local municipalities on ways to maximize governmental efficiency and lower cost.
"My record has been one of providing the most effective county government possible for the least amount of taxpayer dollars. During my two terms as councilman, I never voted for a tax increase. I voted to eliminate the personal property tax and reduce the county’s real estate tax burden. I also sponsored the county’s first farmland preservation resolution.
"As your County Councilman, I am determined to focus much of my energy on the needs of the Department of Human Services. We must ensure that the county’s nursing home, Gracedale, is properly maintained and supported. We also must ensure that services vital to our most vulnerable citizens are protected and delivered efficiently. Our citizens demand that we maintain the county’s structures including our bridges, buildings and parks that they have paid for with their tax dollars. To not do so will cost the taxpayers millions of dollars in deferred maintenance. We must also work with the courts to curb the high cost of prisoner recidivism.
"I want to serve the citizens of this county because this is my home. I learned traditions and values while growing up in Moore Township that have served me well in life. I would like to give back what I can in service to a county that has provided such great quality of life for all of us. I will again put my experience to work for the citizens of Northampton County."